Eastern Alamance’s women’s soccer team won its second straight Central Conference regular season title this spring, as the Eagles ran the table and went through its entire league slate unbeaten. EAHS improved its final overall regular season record to 14-0-1 this past week with a pair of lopsided conference victories over Orange and Person County.
In the final regular season home game at Fred Brady Stadium the evening of Monday, May 8, the Eagles dominated the action, with sophomore standout Abby Brinker scoring four goals for Eastern on the way to a 10-1 triumph. Senior Molly Widderich added a hat trick, while fellow senior Mackenzie Webber and freshmen Maci Link and Maddy Loranger also added goals. Brinker also contributed two assists in the victory, while junior Ainsley Dial also had two assists. Link, Webber, and sophomore Meredith Doi also contributed assists.
Eastern had an impressive scoring rate against the visiting Panthers, with 10 of their 13 shots on goal finding the back of the net. Sophomore Eliana Sullivan-Gaddy did manage to get a shot past EAHS star goalkeeper Karsyn Johnson for Orange’s lone goal of the night, Johnson managed two saves to pick up yet another victory.
Throughout the entirety of the regular season — a total of 15 matches — Johnson and the Eagles defense allowed just six opposing goals.
The Eagles closed out the regular season the evening of Wednesday, May 10 in Roxboro, where they crushed Person County, 13-0. The Eagles scored all 13 of their goals in a remarkable first half offensive flurry, resulting in a shortened 40-minute match.
Eight different Eagles scored goals in the blowout win over Person, led by hat tricks by Brinker and Widderich. Doi scored a pair of goals, while Aubrey Dial, Ainsley Dial, Loranger, Audrey Hupman, and Adrianna Glancy also scored. Brinker and Widderich each contributed two assists in the win over the Rockets, while Doi also contributed two assists. Johnson, Loranger, Ainsley Dial, Hupman, and Webber also assisted Eagle goals.
The Eagles allowed only one shot on goal, which Johnson successfully saved. Johnson joined with Webber to complete Eastern’s tenth defensive shutout in 15 regular-season matches. Eastern, on the other hand, had a whopping 30 shots and 24 shots on goal against the Rockets, with more than half finding the net.
After going unbeaten in the regular season, and earning their second straight conference title, the Eagles earned the No. 1 overall seeding in the East Region of the NCHSAA 3A state playoffs. The Eagles open postseason play Monday night at home against No. 32 seed Croatan (4-15) in the first round. Following what is widely expected to be a victory in the opening round, the Eagles will face either No. 16 seed Northern Nash (15-5) or Central Conference rival Northwood (10-8-3), the No. 17 seed, in the second round.
EAHS had its way with the Chargers during the regular season, shutting out Northwood 9-0 in Pittsboro back on April 3, and then defeating them 8-2 in Mebane on May 3, although Northwood was the only team all season to score more than one goal against the Eagles defense.
Brinker and Widderich were the core of an offensive juggernaut this season for the Eagles, as between them, the tandem scored 65 goals during the regular season.
Widderich scored a team-high 39 goals, while Brinker tallied 26 goals. Doi was the team’s third-leading scorer with seven regular season goals, while Loranger, Ainsley, Dial, and Hupman all tallied five goals each.
Brinker led the Eagles in assists during the regular season (17), as well as total shots (98), while Widderich led EAHS in shots on goal (59). In just under 1,000 minutes in goal during the regular season, Johnson made 51 saves while allowing just six goals and recording ten shutouts.
The Eagles are in a position to play all its games throughout the East Region of the state playoffs at home in Mebane, either at Fred Brady Stadium or at the Mebane Arts and Community Center. The school that defeated the Eagles in last year’s state championship match — two-time defending state champ Lake Norman Charter (16-1-2) — is the No. 3 seed in the West Region. South Point (17-0-3) earned the West Region’s top overall seed.
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